This very millennium, 2000s, is dominated from the start with the novel idea of regenerating living organs, tissues and cells. The idea may have existed for long but only recently it is being researched and applied practically. Still it is quite early and so far cells from embryos of living beings have been considered viable enough to regenerate into desired cells. For instance, heart tissues have been grown from such cells.
But certain degenerative diseases have been extremely difficult to deal with. Neurons, cardiomyocytes, skeletal muscle cells and pancreatic cells, for example, are very complex cells and if they get damaged or die, they are hard to replace considering their specialized functions. Scientists now are making significant progress in a different dimension from embryonic cells for such complexities. They are readily working on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) which have more potential to regenerate into the particular cells needed. This advancement has also countered the barriers that occur with introducing embryonic cells. Additionally these would have no moral and social question marks as have been faced by embryonic cells related research.
Various important research articles on this topic are published in the latest issue, Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy, Volume 11 – Number 7.